LECTURE: Doomed by Hope: Theater in Beirut, Damascus, and Cairo Today | Eyad Houssami | Monday, April 8th at 6:00 p.m. | Campus Center, Weis Cinema

Eyad Houssami
Founding Director of Masrah Ensemble

In a world of screens and speeds so great, theaters are padlocked and threatened with demolition. Live public dialogue, as a literary and artistic practice, remains a luxury – if not an impossible cultural phenomenon – in the Arab Middle East. Decades of invasion, occupation, and internecine conflict have ruptured the intangible and tangible infrastructure requisite for theater. And yet, despite the stifling forces of dictatorship and colonialism, theater endures.

In this talk, Houssami narrates the emergence of alternative infrastructures of and for theatrical artistry in such difficult contexts and discusses the opportunities and challenges of establishing an international, multilingual theater company based in Beirut, Lebanon. The interactive presentation incorporates video, excerpts of performances and plays, and extracts from “Doomed by Hope: Essays on Arab Theatre” to share a story about contemporary theater today.

Eyad Houssami makes and writes about theater. He is the founding director of Masrah Ensemble, a nonprofit theater organization in Lebanon, and the editor of English and Arabic editions of “Doomed by Hope: Essays on Arab Theatre” (Pluto Press and Dar Al Adab 2012). He has performed in dead Byzantine cities in Syria; directed bilingual theater productions that mingle migrant workers with traditional audiences in Lebanon; produced a monodrama in a 13th century Damascene mansion only to be banned from performing; and his play Mama Butterfly received a staged reading at Between the Seas festival (New York 2010). He is the managing editor of Portal 9: Stories and Critical Writing about the City, a bilingual cultural journal published in Beirut. His theater research efforts have culminated in invitations to present at conferences in South Africa and Korea and publication in peer-reviewed journals. He is the recipient of Rotary, Fulbright, Prince Claus Fund, and Young Arab Theatre Fund grants. He studied theater at Yale.

Event co-sponsored by Middle Eastern Studies, the Theater & Performance Program, and Experimental Humanities.

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LECTURE: Translating Revolution: Hannah Arendt and Arab Political Culture | Jens Hanssen | Thursday, April 18th, 2013 @ 5:00 p.m. | Olin 205

Translating Revolution: Hannah Arendt and Arab Political Culture Jens Hanssen (University of Toronto)

Hannah Arendt has famously lamented in “On Revolution” (1963) that the revolutionary tradition of the United States was lost on the “‘revolutionary’ countries in the East” and the United States alike. The result, she argued, has “boomeranged upon the foreign policy of the United States, which begins to pay an exorbitant price for world-wide ignorance and for [American] oblivion.” At the same time, she worried that “Western civilization has its last chance of survival in an Atlantic community” and admitted that “American power and prestige were used and misused to support obsolete and corrupt political regimes that long since had become objects of hatred and contempt among their own citizens.” Still, On Revolution has received more attention in Arab translation circles than any of her other works – including her Report on the Banality of Evil (1963) which overshadowed On Revolution in the West. In the context of a wider Arab reception history of Arendt, this paper examines two Arabic translations – Khayri Hammad’s critical translation Ra’i fi al-thawrāt (1964, republished in excerpt in Cairo, 2012) and Abdel-Rahman Bushnaq’s Franklin Foundation-endorsed translation of her favorite book, Between Past and Future, in 1974 – in order to discuss ‘Lesser-evilism’, Arab authoritarianism and the current uprisings against both.

Jens Hanssen is Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean history at the University of Toronto. His book publications include “Fin de Siècle Beirut” (Oxford, 2005) and two co-edited volumes: “Arab Provincial Capitals in the Late Ottoman Empire,” (Beirut, 2002); and “History, Space and Social Conflict in Beirut” (Beirut, 2005). He has recently published in The New Cambridge History of Islam (2010), in the International Journal of Middle East Studies (2011), Critical Inquiry (2012) and an article “Reading Arendt in the Middle East” (http://www.perspectivia.net/content/publikationen/orient-institut-studies/1-2012/hanssen_hannah-arendt). He is co-editing the OUP Handbook of Contemporary Middle Eastern and North African History and Arabic Thought Beyond the Liberal Age. During his visit to Baghdad in June 2003, he filmed a short documentary (posted on youtube.com) on academic life in Iraq after the U.S. invasion. He is currently conducting research on intersections between German-Jewish and Arab intellectual histories. He also investigates the legacy of the 19th-century Arabic revival and reform movement on contemporary political developments.

This event is cosponsored by Middle Eastern Studies and the Hannah Arendt Center

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Summer 2013 Opportunity for Students: Program in Arabic Language at the Yemen College of Middle Eastern Studies

Summer 2013 Opportunity for Students:

Program in Arabic Language at the
Yemen College of Middle Eastern Studies

Yemen College of Middle Eastern Studies

The National Council is proud to serve as the American Main Office for the Yemen College of Middle Eastern Studies (YCMES), whose campus is centrally located in Sana’a, the capital of the Republic of Yemen. YCMES is a fully accredited, non-profit college that provides students and scholars from around the world the opportunity to develop a complex knowledge of the Arabic language and the contemporary Middle East. Students can study at YCMES for 5, 10, or 15 weeks, or more — programs are tailored to meet students’ needs.

Sana’a, Yemen is an ideal location for language acquisition and cultural immersion. Unlike many other Middle Eastern cities where English and/or French are pervasive, Sana’a is one of the few remaining places in the world where Arabic is spoken exclusively. In short, it is nearly impossible to remain isolated in a Western bubble.

The Program in Arabic Language (PAL), the Arabic language department within the YCMES, was the first private institution in Yemen dedicated exclusively to teaching Arabic as a foreign language. The PAL has served the needs of international students, researchers, and the resident expatriate community since 1989. The YCMES’ Arabic Language Learning Program is open to international students of all ability levels, with program lengths from five weeks to a full calendar year.

Summer 2013 Arabic Packages:

YCMES is now offering a 30% discount for its regular Arabic language programs and has special Summer packages. These programs include flights, field trips, and university-level seminars.

Summer 2013 Term Dates:

9 June – 10 July
14 July – 7 August (Includes break 8-17 August for Eid al-Fitr)
25 August – 25 September

Summer 2013 Package Prices for U.S. Students:

1 Term (5 Weeks): $2530
2 Terms (10 Weeks): $3295
3 Terms (15 Weeks): $3969

Summer 2013 Package Prices Include:

  • Arabic Instruction: 100 hours of group instruction per five-week term
  • Round-Trip Airfare from New York City or Washington, DC
  • Shared Housing in the YCMES dormitories
  • Organised Day Trips
  • Breakfast on class days
  • Services including high-speed wireless internet, airport transfer, library, and 24-hour security
  • University-Level Seminars:
    • 9 June – 10 July: Anthropology
    • 14 July – 7 August: Politics
    • 25 August – 25 September: Literature

More information on YCMES programs is available in the YCMES Winter Newsletter (.pdf).

Application and Payment Procedures:

Students interested in studying at the YCMES are invited to submit application materials and payment to the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations in Washington, DC, for forwarding to the YCMES campus in Sana’a.

Fall 2012 – Summer 2013 Application (.pdf)

Fall 2013 – Summer 2014 Application (.pdf)

Payments for YCMES Programs can be made through:

  • Wire Transfer (see instructions in the application);
  • Check (payable to: National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, 1730 M St. NW, Suite 503, Washington, DC 20036); or
  • Credit Card (call the NCUSAR office 202-293-6466 to do this, PLEASE NOTE CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS INCUR AN ADDITIONAL 7% PROCESSING FEE.)

From the YCMES website: “YCMES maintains a close relationship with embassies, security agencies and the government, and the college management consults these bodies on a regular basis to ensure the best security measures for its students. There is a 24-hour guard in all college buildings, and travel to areas known to be dangerous is not permitted. Over its long history the college has taught Arabic to more than 9,000 students. Not a single one of them experienced a dangerous incident during their stay, and we are confident that this pattern will continue.” Read more on the YCMES website.

For More Information:

Visit: http://ncusar.org/study-abroad/ycmes

or contact Megan Geissler at the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations:

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations
1730 M St. NW, Suite 503
Washington, DC 20036
Email: Megan@ncusar.org
Phone: 202-293-6466

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FALL 2012 INTERNSHIP POSITIONS <http://alwanforthearts.org/volunteer>*

*All internships require attendance at a minimum of 2 Alwan events per

month. Please email resume and cover letter to the designated contact

person listed for each position by** Monday, October 8th**. Write the name

of the position in the subject line.*


*Excellent experience for a senior undergraduate/first year MA student.*

*Responsibilities: *

Work on the planning, development, execution and follow up of Alwan’s music

programs, including the Festival of Iraqi Culture to be held in March 2013

Implement new strategies to promote, organize, and document music


Assist in researching performers and interested groups in the NYC area

Communicate with performing artists for regular concerts

Assist in coordinating a music classes program (outreach, scheduling

private lessons, updating students on classes, week-to-week tracking)

Assist with marketing of music programming, e.g. on website and social media

General office duties as needed.


• Well organized with attention to detail

• Strong writing and research experience

• Ability to work both independently and under structured supervision

• Interest in Arab/ Arab-American cultural representation and musical

traditions; interest and knowledge of other areas of Alwan’s arts and

culture programming, as well as issues of audience engagement helpful

*Preferred Experience: *

• Background in Music – (performance, ethnomusicology, business, etc.),

Middle Eastern/Arab Studies, Folk Arts/ Folklore, or Anthropology

• Familiarity with Arab-American NY community as well as other diverse


• Experience in arts programming (music or other arts) or community

cultural development

• Interest in and comfort with community outreach in the greater NYC area

*Schedule: * Minimum of 10 hours a week. Part time, flexible.

*Contact:* Liz Behrend, liz@alwanforthearts.org <%20liz@alwanforthearts.org>


*This internship will offer insight into all aspects of programming a

non-profit arts organization.*

*Responsibilities: *

Work closely with Alwan’s Artistic Director on the planning, execution and

follow up of special programs and related events, including Alwan’s film

festival and upcoming residency

Help craft, prepare and manage 2013 program structures while executing and

managing 2012 projects and events

Devise and implement new strategies to promote, organize, and document

Alwan’s special events

Research information about artists and help prepare press packets for

special programs

Assist with the collection and maintenance of visual materials

General administrative assistance


• Professional demeanor and an up-beat attitude

• Exceptional administrative skills and the ability to complete work in a

highly organized and timely manner

• Applicants should have a broad interest in the arts and arts


• Strong communication skills, both verbal and written, and the ability to

• work both independently and under structured supervision

• Experience with the following programs: Adobe Suite, Microsoft Office,

Filemaker Pro, CMS website management software.

*Schedule:*  Minimum of two full days a week. Part time, flexible. Schedule

can be adjusted for the right candidate. Academic credit available.

*Contact:* Deena Chalabi,




*Responsibilities: *

Work with the Co-Executive Director, Public Engagement on rethinking and

implementing a new creative direction for Alwan for the Arts, including:

Research, devising and implementing new visual communications strategies

for Alwan

Research for new visual identity/brand for the organization

Brainstorm regularly with team about how to employ design-based thinking to

improve organization

Research and advise on non profit design best practice

Design and create templates for print materials: press releases, marketing

materials and newsletter, annual report and sponsorship materials

*Requirements: *

• Interest in pursuing a design-related career, with strong graphic design


• Ability to work both independently and under structured supervision

• Research experience

• Experience with Microsoft Office and Adobe Design Suite

• Internet/web savvy (knowledge of image-driven social media big plus)

• Photography and/or web design experience a plus but not necessary

• Interest in music, literature and/or the performing and visual arts

• Highly motivated, organized and responsible

*Contact:* Please send portfolio along with resume and cover letter to

Deena Chalabi, deena@alwanforthearts.org <%20deena@alwanforthearts.org>.



*Excellent opportunity to develop highly sought-after skills in all areas

of nonprofit fundraising.*

*Responsibilities: *

Work with the Co-Executive Director, Public Engagement and the Associate

Director on multiple aspects of Alwan’s fundraising efforts:

Assist with special events and programming (including attending special


Assist in researching new foundation and corporate funding opportunities

Research and develop Alwan’s network of supporters and high level patrons

General office duties (assist with mailings, database entry) as needed.


• Interest in pursuing a career in areas of fundraising/development or arts


• Strong organizational, writing and communication skills

• Ability to work both independently and under structured supervision

• Solid research experience

• Familiarity with using database software and experience with Excel

*Schedule:** * Minimum of one full day a week. Part time, flexible.

*Contact:* Liz Behrend, liz@alwanforthearts.org <%20liz@alwanforthearts.org>


*Are you studying communications or marketing? Do you love the arts and are

you interested in helping spread the word about dynamic arts initiatives

and events happening in NYC? Alwan invites you to become a crucial member

of the team in the Fall 2012 semester. This internship will offer insight

into the restructuring of a non-profit organization’s communications and

provides an excellent opportunity for someone looking to take initiative

and make an impact. *


Work closely with the Co-Executive Director for Public Engagement on

researching, devising and implementing new communications strategies for

Alwan, in terms of marketing, PR, grassroots outreach and online


Work on the planning, execution and follow up of marketing for regular

events and general daily operations

Assist in researching and compiling and maintaining databases, designing

mailers and communicating through social media

Research and create tailored press lists for media outreach

Thinking up new strategies to promote our programming and the Alwan brand

Assist in audience building for arts events, including flyer and poster


Create contact lists of thought leaders and community organizational

leaders in related fields

Update content for the Alwan website

Participate in planning for Alwan’s website overhaul

Organize image database and resize images

Update events calendars

General office duties as needed.


• Strong communication skills

• Strong interest in the arts and in communications strategies

• Well organized with attention to detail

• Strong writing and research experience

• Ability to work both independently and under structured supervision

*Preferred Experience:*

• Academic background in Communications, Marketing or a related field.

• Knowledge of the arts and academic community in the NYC area

• Broad and varied interest in the arts (music, film, literature, visual

arts, dance, etc.)

• Knowledge of html and/or CMS management a plus

• Basic Photoshop/InDesign skills

• Knowledge of Arabic

*Schedule:*  Minimum of 2 full days a week. Part time, flexible. Schedule

can be adjusted for the right candidate. Academic credit available.

Students from any accredited college or university are encouraged to apply.

*Contact:* Deena Chalabi,


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Al-Quds-Bard Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship

The Al Quds Bard

Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship Program

AQB College for Liberal Arts and Sciences

Abu Dis, Palestine

The Program

Living and working in the West Bank, AQB Fellows serve as full-time writing tutors for the Al Quds Bard undergraduate and MAT programs, while pursuing independent research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Structured as a multi-faceted fellowship year, the fellowship provides an opportunity for recent Bard graduates to gain hands-on teaching and administrative experience, support for their scholarly interests, as well as in-depth exposure to the language, culture and politics of one of the most politically complex and culturally rich regions in the world.

Who Can Apply?

AQB Fellowships are competitive and open to recent graduates of any of Bard’s major program of study. Experience teaching ESL or tutoring writing is an advantage, but not required. Similarly, knowledge of the region, or of Arabic, is an advantage, but not required. The principal qualities we seek in AQB Fellows include maturity and social awareness; openness to other cultures; self-motivation, initiative, and the ability to work both in dependently and as a team; an interest in institution building; the emotional and professional capacity to live and work in a zone of conflict.

Language Tutoring& Assistant Teaching

The Fellow’s primary responsibility is to provide our undergraduate and MAT students with writing and English language support. This support includes roughly thirty hours a week tutoring writing in the AQB Writing Center, as well as running one section of our “intensive writing lab” or a similar section in the MAT program. Fellows help to design and conduct workshops for students and faculty. In addition, Fellows serve as Teaching Assistants for one core course, either First Year or Sophomore Seminar. In this last capacity, Fellows serve as a vital link between students and faculty, providing students with less formal, “peer” instruction and support. While Fellows are encouraged to audit one or more courses in their general field of interest, this is not required. Courses in colloquial Arabic are open to Fellows–and strongly recommended–but not required. Fellows are expected to be in the Writing Center the better part of four days a week, a fifth work day is reserved for research on their individual projects.

Research Project

In addition to their primary work at the Writing Center, Fellows are strongly encouraged to pursue a research project of their own design during their fellowship year. While informal, the research component of the fellowship is meant to encourage recent graduates to remain active in scholarly work during a transition period between college and entering graduate school, or the job market. Fellows participate in a research seminar, in which they present their ideas and research to their peers and are encouraged to present their work at the College.


The AQB Fellowship provides for shared housing in Ramallah, a monthly stipend of US $1000, one round-trip plane ticket, basic international medical coverage and visa costs. Fellowships are eligible for renewal for an additional year subject to approval of the AQB project.

Apply All applications must be submitted on-line. To apply, please visit: https://bard.studioabroad.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=39369&Type=R

April 1, 2012 is the deadline for the submission of completed applications with supporting documentation. Incomplete applications, or applications submitted after April 1, will not receive consideration.

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Arab Image Foundation Internship Opportunities

CALL FOR INTERNS: Apply now for spring and summer 2012
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The Arab Image Foundation (AIF) offers internships for college students and recent graduates during the summer and throughout the academic year. Our internships provide the opportunity to learn about the operations of a nonprofit organization and to working different fields related to the foundation’s mission and activities. Besides gaining invaluable experience at an outstanding cultural institution with a unique collection of vernacular photography, our interns benefit from a rewarding work environment, where they can learn and grow. As part of a highly motivated team, our interns contribute to ongoing projects and get the chance to get a close insight in the AIF collection, its programs and events.

The AIF is a non-profit organization dedicated to the collection, preservation and study of photography and other related visual material from the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab Diaspora. Established in Beirut in 1997, it holds a collection of more than 500,000 photographs dating from the mid nineteenth century through today. Since its inception, the AIF has organized fourteen exhibitions and published seven books in partnership with international museums, galleries and cultural institutions. The work of the foundation differs from that of more conventional historians, conservators or curators in that it is artist-driven.

We are looking for interns to work for three to six months in the preservation department. The internship program, which is open to both part-time and full-time candidates, is an excellent opportunity for students and recent graduates with an interest in photography, contemporary art, preservation and archival practices.

Preservation interns will assist in indexing and cataloguing photographs in the AIF’s collection. Candidates will also be responsible for conducting independent research, database updating, as well as cleaning and preserving photographs.

Candidates for the preservation internship must be self-motivated, analytical and able to work independently and efficiently. They must have basic administrative and excellent communication skills (written and verbal) and be proficient in Photoshop, Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook. Fluency in English and Arabic is required. Knowledge of French is preferred.

To find out more about our other job vacancies please visit our website www.fai.org.lb

To apply, please submit a CV (including academic and professional experience, language skills and contact details) and a cover letter to: jobs@fai.org.lb

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LECTURE | Does Free Will Exist? | Feb. 26th 2-4 | Bertelsmann Campus Center MPR

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FILM: “The Nightingale’s Prayer”, 6:30 P.M. Olin LC 115, Wed. 2/15

The Nightingale’s Prayer

directed by Henri Barakat, 1959

The Nightingale’s Prayer is the story of Amna, a young girl who seeks revenge for the death of her sister. Her desire for vengeance leads her to love, danger, and confusion about who is to blame. Familial ties conflict with romance as the question of honor looms large. Released to international acclaim decades ago and more recently named one of the top 150 films in Egyptian history, The Nightingale’s Prayer is a classic love story and a cinematic masterpiece.

Olin LC 115, 6:30 P.M., Wed. 2/15. Run time 109 min.

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Tweets from Tahrir–from Cyber World to Printed Page

2/21   6:30 P.M.   Olin 102

Nadia Idle, co-editor of “Tweets from Tahrir”, will discuss the roles that Twitter played as a medium of relaying information during the first phase of the revolution, the process of and assembling the tweets to create a final printable narrative, and answer the question most commonly poised: why would you want to print tweets in a book?

Nadia Idle is Activism & Outreach Officer at War on Want, a global justice NGO based in London. She studied Anthropology, Theater and Biology at the American University in Cairo (AUC) and later obtained an MSc in Development Studies from School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

This event is co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program and the Experimental Humanities Project

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